The 1840 Tithe Map shows number 4 was Plot 174 described as a house and court owned by Frances Gayner and occupied by George Withers.
George Withers – the 1841 census shows George was a shoemaker aged 30, Hannah aged 30, Fanny aged 9, Thomas aged 7, John aged 5, Emma aged 3 and Martha aged 1. Click here to read more
Mary Feates – in the 1851 census the house is occupied by Mary Feates, a married lady aged 43 who working as a coal seller and was born in Frampton Cotterell. She was living with a number of children described as sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law: John Millett, an agricultural labourer aged 18, Ellen Millett aged 14, Simon Millett aged 12 who was described as ‘an idiot’ and noted as being dumb and Henry Millett an errand boy aged 10. There were also two children from her marriage to James Feates, a sailor who she married in Thornbury on 12th January 1846. These were Ruth Feates aged 3 born in Yate and James Feates aged 1 born in Thornbury.
Mary was born about 1808, the daughter of James Holder, a hatter. In 1841 she was living in Frampton Cotterell with her children: John, George, Ellen, Simon and Henry. Mary’s father, James Holder was also living with the family. Both James and Mary were described as being ‘Independent’. It seems likely that Mary was married to Henry Millett who died just before the census in March quarter 1841.
By 1861 Mary had moved to Bristol where she is living at 35 Clifton Place. Mary is described as a widow and she seems to be living off a pension given her by the ‘Patriotic Fund’. Her son, Henry, was also living with her and he was working as a haulier. In 1871 and 1881 Mary was living with her son, Henry Millett who was now married. They were living in 13 Bedford Street, Bristol. In 1871 her son, James Feates, a coppersmith and brazier, was also living with the family and in 1881 her daughter, Ellen Feates, a nurse, was living with them. Mary died in 1888 aged 80.
Fanny Baylis – the 1861 census shows Fanny was an unmarried semptress aged 27 and born in Alveston living with her unmarried sister, Elizabeth, a charwoman aged 48 from Thornbury and sons, Thomas aged 5 and Edward aged 1, both born in Thornbury.
Fanny and Elizabeth were the daughters of Benjamin Baylis, a tailor and Martha. In 1851 they were living with their father in the house which later became 15 St Mary Street. In spite of the difference in ages (her age seems to vary on each census) we believe that Elizabeth died in Bristol infirmary aged 47 and was buried on 22nd January 1865.
Fanny must have had a difficult time. The newspaper cutting published in 1869 on the left tells its own story. We understand that Fanny did eventually get to America. We were told that her son, Thomas, became a merchant marine and he was able to trace Fanny in New York. She had married James Roberts in Manhattan on 6th February 1870 .
Meanwhile life was very hard indeed for her two little boys. The 1871 census shows that Edward Edwin Baylis at 12 years of age was in the Thornbury Union (the workhouse). The same census shows Thomas as a labourer lodging in the High Street with a basket maker called George Poole and his family. We do not know if the boys were ever to live together again and would very much like to hear more. The 1881 census shows only that Thomas was lodging in Swansea and was working as a miller.
Thomas (whose photo is shown on the right and we have another photo of him and his wife on the Baylis family album) seems to have stayed in South Wales. In 1882 Thomas married Ann Lewis and they had three children. Fanny’s other son, Edward Edwin (or Edwin as he appears to have been known) married in Bedminster in Bristol in 1878. His wife may have been Jane Bowden. They went on to have a large family of ten children. We have photographs of him and his family in our Baylis family album collection.
Charlotte Barge – the 1871 census shows that the house occupied by Charlotte. She was a widowed laundress aged 86 from Hilthorn in Somerset. She was living with her unmarried daughter, Hannah, a laundress aged 52 born in Thornbury. The 1876 rate book confirms that she was living here, although she had actually died in 1875.
Charlotte Mead was born about 1784. On 9th September 1805, Charlotte married Samuel Barge in Thornbury. They had at least three children: Susannah born on 23rd November 1805, Hannah born on 4th September 1807 and Thomas baptised on 2nd June 1816.
In the 1840 Tithe Survey and the 1841 census Samuel and Charlotte were living at the house which later became known as 49 St Mary Street. Samuel was an agricultural labourer aged 59 and Charlotte was a laundress aged 50. Living with them in the census was their son, Thomas, an agricultural labourer aged 25 and Emma Barge aged 12. Emma was the daughter of Samuel and Charlotte’s daughter, Hannah. The 1851 census shows Samuel was an agricultural labourer aged 67, Charlotte was a laundress aged 64. They were living in the house which later became known as 27 St Mary Street with their children: Hannah a laundress aged 42 and Thomas an agricultural labourer aged 35.
Samuel died aged 74 and was buried on 23rd December 1855. In 1861 Charlotte was still living at 27 St Mary Street with Hannah. Thomas had moved a few houses up the road at 49 St Mary Street. He was living with Mary Bendall – Mary was an upholstress aged 42 born in Almondsbury and described as ‘married’. She had three children living her: Thomas aged 6, Samuel aged 4 and Charlotte aged 1. The 1871 census and 1876 rate book show Thomas and Mary had moved to 37 St Mary Street. In the census they were shown as ‘married’ (although we have never traced their marriage) and the children were using the Barge surname. We believe that Mary and her husband, George Bendall, who had married in 1851, had split up by 1859 and were living separately in Thornbury. Charlotte’s birth was registered in 1859 as ‘Charlotte Barge Bendall’ which might suggest that Thomas was the father. The 1871 census shows that Thomas and Mary had one more child: Matilda aged 8.
Charlotte died aged 89 and was buried on 15th August 1875. Thomas died aged 61 and was buried on 9th August 1877. Hannah died aged 86 and she was buried on 17th July 1886. Mary died in the Thornbury area in 1949 aged 89. Her death was registered under the name of ‘Mary B Bendall’.
Hester Walker – the 1881 census and 1885 shows the house was occupied by Hester. The census shows Hester was a widow aged 75. She had two lodgers, William Parnell, a labourer aged 44 and Thomas Taylor a labourer aged 30. Click here to read about Hester
William Edwin Beak – the 1887 rate book indicates that William had recently left this house and was replaced by someone called ‘Curthoys. The 1881 census shows William E. and Annie Beak were then living in Falfield. William was a post office messenger aged 27 from Easton Grey in Wiltshire. Annie was aged 36 also from Easton Grey. They had two children, Richard aged 11 born in Hillesley and Gertrude aged one month. Another daughter, Minnie, was baptised in Thornbury on 3rd April 1887. The 1891 census shows them living in Crossways and William was now working as a agricultural labourer. Minnie died in 1910 aged 23. William died in Thornbury in 1932 aged 79.
George Thorn – the 1894 rate book shows that George Thorn was occupying the house. We suspect that he might be ‘George Thorne’. Click here to read more
In the 1899 rate book the house appears vacant.
Millicent Burlton – the 1901 census shows Millicent was occupying the house. She was a widowed cook (not domestic) aged 54 from Clapton in Gordano. She was living with her son, Mark James, an assistant in a printing office aged 15 born in Bedminster and a lodger, Mark Williams, a widowed carpenter aged 59 born in Alveston. The 1905 rate book shows Millicent is still living there. Millicent was Millicent Kitchen when she married John James Burlton in 1872.
Harriett Smith – the 1910 rate book shows the house was occupied by Mrs Smith. The 1911 census shows that it was Harriett Smith who was living here. Harriett had quite a difficult life – click here to read more
William Charles Sheppard – we have been told that William Charles and his wife, Annie Elizabeth, occupied in the house in the late 1930’s.
We believe that William might have been born in Fulham on 12th August 1898, the son of Charles Sheppard, a labourer who was born in Bath and his wife, Mary Elizabeth who was born in Thornbury. In the 1901 census they were living in a 2 roomed property at 10 Humbolt Road, Fulham with William aged 2 and his sister, Marjorie aged 1. We don’t know what happened to William’s father. The 1907 rate book and the 1911 census shows his mother, Mary, had returned to live in 7 Silver Street in Thornbury. She was still being shown as married. Living with her were William and his siblings, Marjorie and Stanley (who had been born in Thornbury in 1903). Also living in the same house were James Harris a general labourer aged 40 and his son, Alfred Harris aged 13.
A Gazette newspaper report of 1918 shows that William was fighting with the Army in France. He had been seriously wounded twice, once in 1916 when he had a gunshot wound in his left shoulder and a shrapnel wound in 1918. William is listed as living in St Mary Street in the 1918 and 1921 electoral registers although we are not sure which house he lived in. He was probably living with his mother who had re-married in 1914 – her second husband was Alfred James Harris, a widower and they were living in St Mary Street at the time of the newspaper report in 1918.
In 1925 William married Annie Elizabeth Peters in Thornbury. Annie was born on 14th July 1899 and baptised on 3rd June 1900. She was the daughter of Henry Peters, a labourer and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth who both came from Milbury Heath. William and Annie had two children: Constance Irene born on 7th December 1927 and Raymond Henry born on 30th April 1931. They were listed as living in St Mary Street in the 1931, 1935 and 1938 electoral registers so we assume that they were living in 4 St Mary Street throughout this time. By the time the 1939 register was compiled in preparation for the War the Sheppards had moved to 5 Eastland Avenue. In this register William is described as a plater’s labourer.
Anthony J. and Evelyn M. Collins – the 1939 register compiled in preparation for the war lists the two of them living at 4 St Mary Street. We have been told that lived at 33 St Mary Street. Click here to read more
We have been told that ‘Browns’ the dairy firm operated from a place in St Mary Street and that it was located where number 4 stood. We haven’t yet had this confirmed but we have an advert dated 1962 showing that ‘L. W. Brown – the local dairyman’ was based in St Mary Street. We would be grateful if anyone could tell us more about this.
John and Annie King – the 1946 electoral register shows the house was occupied by John and Annie. It is interesting to see that the house was called ‘West Side’ at this time. We have been told by Shirley Adlem, John and Annie’s youngest daughter, that the name was given to the house by the Post Office to distinguish mail addressed to this King family from that of the King family living on the other side of St Mary Street.
John King, better known as ‘Jack’ was born on 21st January 1888. He was the son of William King, a laundryman’s assistant who was born in Stoke Gifford and his wife, Ann who was born in Filton. In the 1901 census Jack was a butcher’s assistant aged 13 and living with his parents and siblings in Filton.
Jack married Annie Harris on 13th October 1912 at Filton Parish Church. Annie was born on 13th July 1885 and baptised on 2nd August 1885, the daughter of William George Harris and his wife, Ellen (nee Derrick). Jack and Annie had five children: Gladys May born on 11th May 1914, Peggy Matilda born 11th November 1915, Edna Mary born on 2nd September 1917, Leslie John born on 4th September 1919 and Shirley Anne born on 29th September 1935. Peggy moved to Thornbury when she married Alfred Charles Riddiford in 1937. In June 1938 Gladys married Kenneth Randolph Reece, the second son of Arthur Reece of Hinton, Sharpness. They moved to live in Greyhurst, Everlands, Cam. The register compiled in 1939 in preparation for the war shows Jack and Annie were then living at 211 Gloucester Road North, Filton. Jack was a timekeeper. During the early years of the War, they were bombed out of their house near the airfield at Filton, they all moved to Thornbury.
Annie died on 22nd August 1947 aged 63, and shortly after Jack and Shirley moved to live with Jack’s daughter, Gladys, who was living with her husband, Kenneth Reece at 4 High Street. Jack died on 1st March 1955 aged 67.
James and Millicent Mansfield – the 1950 and 1954 electoral registers show the house was occupied by James and Millicent Mansfield. James was born about 1922 in Plumstead, the son of George Mansfield, a park keeper. He was in the merchant navy when he married Millicent Florence Taylor. The marriage took place at Thornbury St Marys Church on 4th October 1945. Millicent was in the WAAF at the time of her marriage. After their marriage, the Mansfields rented rooms at Wilf Rugmans in Gillingstool for a short time before moving to 4 St Mary Street. They had three children: Ann, born in 1948, Anthony James born on 3rd April 1952 and Robert born in 1954.
Millicent (who is shown in the photo on the right) was born in 1923, the daughter of Frances Graham Taylor, a tailor, and his wife, Minnie (nee Poulton). The Taylors lived at 8 St Mary Street. Millie told us that she started at the Council Infants School at the age of two and a half as her mother needed to go out to work. The records seem to confirm this. Millie left school at the age of 14 and started work in service. Her first employment was in a house in Brislington where she worked very hard, expecting to be paid five shillings for her months work. However at the end of the month she had decided she could not continue working there the lady refused to pay her. Millie had to walk from Brislington to an aunt’s house in Clifton where she was given the money for her bus fare back to Thornbury. Fortunately she was able to find employment later with the Mrs Mundy at Thornbury Villa and with the Hawkins family at Warwick House where she was treated a lot more fairly and it was a lot closer to home!
We understand that James (shown in the photo on the left) was a motor cycle enthusiast and he rode sidecar with Tommy Ashcroft at scrambles. It was through his friendship with Norman Ashcroft that they were able to rent his brother’s house in St Mary Street. James worked at Fisons’s at Avonmouth and used to cycle there and back each day until he got a motor bike. When he left Fisons he worked as a rigger on the construction of Oldbury Power Station. By 1958, the Mansfields had moved to Park View Avenue.
After the Mansfields left, Grantley Parsons and his wife, Eileen took over the house for a few years, and then Tommy Ashcroft’s mother, Annie Louise Ashcroft, moved there. When she died in 1967, the house was bought by the Council and demolished.